What can UK tech firms do to improve flexible working even further?
At the start of February 2019, the messaging platform Slack announced its plans for a public listing, valuing the messaging service at a cool $10billion. That’s right, $10billion – not bad for what is essentially a modern version of MSN Messenger, with a few add-ons for the business community it now serves.
It’s not alone. The age of cloud computing has seen numerous communication and storage platforms rise from seemingly nowhere to become big specialist business players taking the Remora Fish approach to the slipstream of the GAFA shark (Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple – or FAANG if you want to include Netflix). Think Wunderlist, Asana, Canva, Dropbox, Adobe.
Why are there so many new players? The answer – the rise of flexible working, made easy by modern business technology software and improved home internet speeds. Now it’s Google Drive, Dropbox and WeTransfer, Docs and Sheets. One version, online, where multiple users can collaborate, comment, edit and assign, from anywhere in the world, at any time of the day or night.
On 30th June 2014, the UK government amended the law to allow one day of working from home per week for each employee (if the job could be done from home), with a second day available on request. Since this time, employees across the UK have become more accustomed to flexible working, allowing them to save several hours a day on their commute, work more productively, spend more time with their families and achieve a better work/life balance.
With 90% of the roles that Marketing Moves undertakes based in London and at the senior level, anyone over the age of 30 is probably already based outside of the City and reluctant to commute daily into the centre (notwithstanding the cost implications), meaning that the same tech firms that created and facilitated this modern way of working must keep working hard at flexible working to attract and retain the best talent.
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